By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Bill Nye's viral YouTube video pleading with parents not to teach their children to deny evolution has spawned an online life of its own, with prominent creationists hitting back against the popular TV host.
"Time is Nye for a Rebuttal," Ken Ham the CEO of Answers in Genesis writes on his website. Answers in Genesis is the Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
Nye's criticism of creationism went viral earlier this week, after being posted last Thursday.
"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it," Nye says in his Big Think video, which has been viewed nearly 3 million times.
Ham writes that Nye is joining in with other evolutionists who say teaching children to deny evolution is a form of "child abuse." That idea comes in part from the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins, who in his book "The God Delusion" argues against exposing children to religion before they are old enough to fully understand it.
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"At AiG and the Creation Museum, we teach children and adults the truth concerning who they are in the Creator’s eyes — and where they came from," Ham writes. "We tell people that they do have purpose and meaning in life and that they were created for a purpose. "No, we are not just evolved animals as Nye believes; we are all made in the image of God."
Ham is the public face of a group that academics call Young Earth Creationists, though they prefer to be called Biblical Creationists. They believe in a literal interpretation of the creation account in the book of Genesis found in the Bible.
The Creation Museum also produced its own rebuttal video on YouTube that features two of their staff scientists, both Ph.Ds, David Menton and Georgia Purdom.
"[Nye] might be interested to know I also teach my young daughter about evolution and I know many Christian parents who do the same," Purdom says in the video. "Children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past."
For the past 30 years, one popular method for Creationists to advance their cause has been to make an equal-time argument,with Creationism taught alongside evolution. In the late 1980s, some state legislatures passed bills that promoted the idea of a balanced treatment of both ideas in the classroom.
In 1987, the issue made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where a Louisiana "equal-time law" was struck down. The court ruled that teaching creationism in public school class rooms was a violation of the Establishment Cause in the Constitution, which is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state.
A key point between most scientists and many creationists is the timing for the origin of the world.
Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique
Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth as 4.5 billion years old and the universe as 14.5 billion years old.
"The idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview becomes crazy, untenable, itself inconsistent," Nye says in his viral video.
Young Earth Creationists say the weeklong account of God creating the earth and everything in it represents six 24-hour periods (plus one day of rest) and date the age of the earth between 6,000 and 10,000 years.
"Yes we see fossils and distant stars, but the history on how they got there really depends on our worldview," Purdom says in the museum's rebuttal. "Do we start with man's ideas, who wasn't here during man's supposed billions of years of earth history or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"
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Polling from Gallup has shown for the past 30 years that between 40-46% of the survey respondents believe in Creationism, that God created humans and the world in the past 10,000 years.
The most recent poll showed belief in atheistic evolution was on the rise at 16%, nearly double what it had been in previous years. The poll also found 32% of respondents believe in evolution guided by God.
Religious reasoning is typically circular. As in maintaining that the bible is the word of God, because it says it is the word of God. There is zero "proof" in that. Religious belief is just that, belief, based on faith, not measurable fact.
Keep all the religious beliefs you want, but don't say that science is invalid because it conflicts with your religion. Likewise, science, in general, does not proclaim religion, in general, to be invalid. They are entirely separate issues.
Kudos to Bill Nye for keeping this discussion on scientific terms because science relys on facts and not blind faith and gullibility..with the gullible here being those who believe the universe was created by some guy on a cloud...
Bill Nye Rocks!
He's brilliant and he makes science accessible to both kids + any lay person open to learning.
Amen. Evolution is a fact. Any religion that denies evolution is a false religion. I point out that the Pope and Official Catholic doctrine acknowledges evolution as the only scientific explanation for the origin of man on Earth.
Evolution is a fact. The existence or lack of existence of a God has nothing to do with it, it's unclear to me why people can't understand that. Just as science does not attempt to explain questions of faith or the supernatural, religion should not attempt to claim it is science.
Sad – No evolution is a theory which for the last 150 years or so has been supported by the preponderance of evidence. No real scientist equates theories with fact, for they are not the same and you do science no favors by suggesting they do.
I think the vast majority of people on here have no idea what the biological definition of evolution, which is a change in allele frequency in a population over time, or more simply the change in genetic composition in a population over successive generations. This happens, it is a fact. The mechanisms of evolution are a theory/set of hypotheses...such as natural selection (aka the Darwin Theory of Evolution). So, please do not come on here and tell me it doesn't. Or various cladograms or phylogenetic relationships are hypotheses to be tested. This is a key distinction, evolution is a process that happens...there is no question. The hypotheses/theories come in to explain how it happens, why it happens, and what the results of it are. You, sir, do a disservice by even suggesting evolution may not happen.
Sad, If you wish to discuss Futuyma's definition of evolution, I would be happy to. That said I stand by my point that real scientists would not equate theory with fact in the context it has been used in online discussion.
If Bill Nye wont accept the evolution of his hairline and admit he is bald, why should I have toaccept any other evolutuon.....lol.
mythology is not a suitable alternative to science. nearly all things once attributed to the supernatural have been determined to have natural origins. there is no reason to suspect that trend will miraculously change.
Creationism is a religious based 'theory'. The discussion on this board talks about creationism as defined by a Christian god. News flash people – there are Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc, etc in the world. The language that unifies all of these people is science – evolution is universally accepted by educated people of all types. The language of religion (s), such as creationsim, is divisive and closed minded. If there were a god, he/she must be really perverse to give 'the truth' to such a small segment of the human race on this little spec of dust in the universe. Let's put things in their proper context.
With all these species that exist now, there simply was not enough room for the pairs on Noah's ark, and all the food they required. And 8 people could never have thrown that much muck overboard, with the doors sealed shut. PeeYou!
There are a lot more logical and consistent arguments against a supernatural being then for it.
"What can be assumed without proof can be dismissed without proof!" – Christopher Hutchens
when i was a child in school, it was taught that we know FOR A FACT that certain fossilized bones are for a FACT a certain age, and that NO fossilized bone of current times could exist. then they discovered a fossilized human bone in a cowboy boot and they said "well, under certain geologic conditions, a bone of current time can be fossilized".. problem was, they were right both times, and will be wrong many more, all depends on where "science" is at with their latest progressions (science is only as good as the latest discovery).. science is about exploration and discovery, not religious proclomations and arrogant assumptions. there are places in the universe where time stands still and one year equals billions, so how can we truly know how old the earth or the universe truly is.. were just now finding out that the "big bang" could be happening billions of times a second all over the universe. so much for "we know how the whole universe was created " (which was as arrogant a human assumption as one could imagine).. we dont even know whats in our own oceans but somehow we KNOW how the universe was formed and how old it is, and now how humans came to exist- from nothingsness by the way
Point is, some of the greatest scientists and explorers believe in God, and some of the greatest religious leaders depend on science to take the human race to higher levels. the zealots in between are all the same. mindless nuts who believe in blind acceptance and blind denial.
And your PhD is in what now?
what in the world would my degree have to do with what was being taught in the 80's?
You are a liar or you are ignorant. There is no fossilized cowboy.
The "they" who discovered a fossilized bone in a cowboy boot were not scientists, they were creationists from Iraan, Texas. For some odd reason, they have never had it analyzed. They just insist it's fossilized. Looks like it's encrusted with calcium carbonate to me.
flk, who exactly was teaching you this in the 80's?
Would that be this cowboy boot? http://paleo.cc/paluxy/boot.htm
The one that was put forward by Creationists, but never verified by actual science? The one that wasn't found embedded in rock (you know, the part that takes millions of years). The one in which the bones are white, not the yellow/tan of a fossil? The one in which somehow the contents of the boot were fossilized, but not the leather of the boot itself? The one in which the contents fill the entire form of the boot, a fact that is explained with this particular gem of "science"?*
"This poor person when they died had obviously fallen from a tremendous height, literally compressing the entire lower leg into the boot and liquifying their flesh. ...They might have fallen from a high cliff, but an airplane is just as reasonable."
Oh, THAAAAAT boot... yeah, I guess now we all have to accept that evolution is a hoax...
*It is impossible for a human, on Earth, to develop enough speed through falling to liquify their flesh. Cliff, plane, or otherwise.
Well if the Genesis account is the true one, which Genesis account is true? That we were made side by side out of mud or Adam was made first and Eve from his rib? They are both there, present, in the current Bible. Which do you teach your children? (Bet I can guess....)
Since when is the earth as old as the universe. Please do some fact checking prior to publishing. The universe is about 3x older than the earth!!!
One thing that lacks clearity with religious scholars is that the Earth was created in pre-determined status to be a 24 hour cycle. Yet, day and night did not occur till the third day. Plus, Earth isn't mentioned until the "third day". You can't have a 24 hour cycle before the Earth was made. Man was made on the "sixth day". These days are "God's day", not "man's day". God is not just living on Earth.....you silly Religious people. He doesn't represent 24 hour cycles. Days are "phases" of a process of creation.
Interestingly, that "the day wasn't even defined yet" argument (which I once thought was an original insight of my own) was first put forth by the Greek satirist Celsus ("On the True Doctrine") about 2,000 years ago...folks have been noting inconsistencies in the "inerrant" Bible since before the ink was dry...
Well, that's great news that according to many of you evolution doesn't happen. Phew...that means we can stop trying to find cures for all those viruses that evolve faster than we can keep up with.....
thats not evolution. i know what you're getting at but at least learn that much
Hmmm....lets think about what the definition of evolution is...a change in allele frequency in a population over time.....hmmm, what is viral evolution...it is a high mutation rate in the RNA strands of viruses combined with a short generation time leading to changes in allele frequency...so I have no idea what you are talking about that's not evolution.
LOL! Then what is it? And what is evolution, since you know so much about it? Based on your posts, I'd say you're the one who doesn't know what evolution is. Of course, I suppose that's EXACTLY what we should expect when people refuse to be taught about evolution... "Evolutions is false! I know this because my parents demanded I be excused from learning about it in school!"
He's right viruses evolve. It is evolution. To deny that viruses evolve means you are not talking the language of science.
Creationism is the PERFECT example of how Americans think that they are the centre of the universe. Even they want to claim God for themselves. You don't have this problem anywhere else in the world (where the US hasn't corrupted with Creationism). Where is Kent Hovind to rebutt Nye? Oh yeah, still in prison.
so instead of americans thinking theyre the center of the universe, a small group of scientists do? oh the hubris
flk: If you knew anything at all about science you would never make that statement. Scientists stand in awe of the universe. Indeed, since they understand it better than the general run of the population, and certainly better than rigid religionists, they more fully appreciate the majesty and grandeur of it and of man's small little part in the whole process.
@James R Ruston, Here! Here! Beautifully said.
flk, Hubris? How about thinking that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god thinks that people with your belief system are somehow special?
First of all, you should try to avoid generalizing the entire population of a country based on the opinions of a part of it. Second, have you been paying attention to some Christians in other countries as well as followers of other religions in some countries in which many people appear to hate Christianity and the US? Those American Christians to whom you refer are far from the only people who follow a strict interpretation of their religious texts (including their version of creation).
Just as angry gods were used to explain a volcanic eruption by cultures native to the south seas, Creationism was used by more mainstream societies to explain the origins of man. As time went on science progressed and began to shed some light on the matter to reveal life wasnt created in the blink of an eye or even over a period of days, but of eons. I dont need to go into details but it all boils down to Catholicism, namely the Creationist account, being the result of mans lack of patients. "We dont have to technology to answer these questions accurately, so lets do the next best thing." Dont get me wrong, religion can be a great format to live a good life. However, when youre willing to kill over these ideas, you lose the point of living a good life. Someone once told me "Science is my religion and logic is my god." That always stuck with me for some reason. I also like Business=Religion Money=God.
I see a problem with your thesis. No mainstream society denies evolution.
Catholics accept evolution as the only scientific explanation for the origin of human life on earth. Don't go around saying there is a problem with Catholics, it is the protestants who have a problem, not Catholics.
I was thinking about pointing that exact point out Dan, TX.
@ Dan TX. If catholics accept evolution, then do they accept that the bible is not accurate?
Catholics are not fundamentalists and therefore do not believe the Old Testament is completely factual.
@ Sad. I may actually be learning something here! Is it fair of me to ask if there is ANYthing that Catholics are taught that you find hard- to- accept?
I wasn't arguing for or against Catholics or their system of beliefs, just trying to point out some misconceptions about them and the fact that the largest Christian religion accepts that evolution has and does occur. Wasn't trying to argue for blind faith in Catholicism!
@ Sad. Thank you! I will direct my search elsewhere for a religious nut with whom to argue! (And I did learn something of Catholics, having been raised Protestant myself.). Good luck to you, my friend.
Again with the lazy, biased writing in this article!
Spoutin' it out again this term "atheistic evolution"!
Where the hell did that term get invented from???
Evolution is simply that. It has no religious, nor nonreligious affiliation whatsoever.
I suppose you might want to use the term secular, if you must.
Is math a religious belief? Is electricity religious or nonreligious? Is toothpaste atheistic?
So why should evolution be classified by way of a religious description?
Its simply a study of facts, open to scrutiny, subject to processes that can be observed + examined.
The problem is you tell people that they mustn't study any given subject, for whatever reason, and you're left with a less educated group. That is a tragedy.
If you label a certain group of facts "atheistic," you scare away, many people who might otherwise be quite open to learning.
That's a terrible thing to do.
And unfortunately, the ignorance spreads this way.
They do that because there are two different views of evolution. One side says that it was simply an "accident" of our universe and that there is no god behind it. The other side says that evolution is the mechanism through which a divine creator populates the Universe. As to why we bother to make this distinction about evolution and not other facets of science, I can't say for sure, but my belief is that it's because evolution seeks to answer the fundamental question of "why are we here?". The other examples you mention lack the human element that is us. If you found out that toothpaste exists because God wanted it so, would you care? What if you found out toothpaste exists without the intent of God? Do you care? But with evolution we are talking about ourselves. Perhaps you do not, but many people care greatly about whether or not they are here for a reason. I believe that's why people bother to distinguish between evolution directed by God and evolution that just happened. The creationist interpretation of evolution provides a purposeful reason for our existence. The atheistic (if you have a better term, I, at least, am open to it) interpretation of evolution holds that their is no such purposeful reason.
Actually, there is another perspective. God didn't create the universe. The universe is God. This includes parts that we cannot yet perceive.
would you then think that the parts that cannot yet be perceived could explain the origins of human intelligence?
It's possible. Think of it this way: no single cell in your brain can explain it's own creation. But when enough brain cells work together, that knowledge is accessible. Now imagine that each of us is simply one cell of a greater being. We cannot understand the depth of our own creation, but perhaps whatever it is that is made up of all of us can.
Evolutionism in the strictest sense is a religion. Unfortunately, world governments have been cleverly hoodwinked into supporting it. At its very core, its tennets rely on guesswork. Should it not then take its rightful place?
Your position is that the earth is 6,000 years old. Science has proven that it's billions of years old. That's quite a delta. I go with science, you can go with your fairy tales.
I really hope you don't believe what you just said. Evolution has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. You have shut yourself out of the real world if you refuse to believe it. I'm guessing you probably haven't studied it in depth because if you had, you'd never make such a ridiculous statement.
You certainly do have a strange definition of religion. Your assertion that evolution is religion shows how little you understand of either the concept or the evidence that supports it.
evolution has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt? wow man, seriously. even evolutionary biologists would laugh at that.. they've got a pretty good grip on it but if it was proven none of us would be having this conversation. get real
There are still those that support a flat earth – you'd fit in perfectly! See http://www.theflatearthsociety.org
flk, your ignorance is truly outstanding. We have a theory of gravity, to you, does that mean that gravity itself isn't proven?
its truly mindboggling how many people here do not understand how far we are from closing the door on evolution. i think if the entire worlds scientists came out tomorrow and said "evolution has been proven false" youd ban together and start another flat earth society. I cannot believe how many ordinary people like us are on these boards proclaiming evolution to be fact and proven 100 percent. and sorry, theory of gravity is different. we know gravity exists. that anvil that hit you all on the head is proof of gravity. im leaving now. gonna go hang out with some real scholars who know what reality is. goodnight.
Fiddle, I'm sorry but you don't seem to have the slightest clue what the term evolution means. It certainly is not a religion in ANY sense of that word. You are either ignorant or insane, there is no alternative interpretation for what you've said.
Flk, yes evolution has been proven and in fact we understand the mechanistic basis of evolution BETTER than gravity. We all know what gravity does – but you tell me, what is the mechanism of gravity. How do masses attract each other? A gravitational field? What's is it made of?
one thing is certain, with the innumerable deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history.
man is very adept at creating god.
I'm not concerned about what Bill Nye says. He was unable to make it as a prominent scientist and so he resorted to a goofy TV character with plucky science tricks. That’s like taking parenting advice from Homer. I put these two characters on the same level.
So does that mean you think earth is 6,000 years old, when scientific evidence suggests it's in the billions?
Also his wife tried to poison him. but he was all like "this food tastes like poison, cuz im bill nye, and i know these things. And thats whats up.
sean and some idiot: You clearly do not have enough understanding of evolution to comment on it with any degree of authority, so you attack Mr. Nye. That's all you got.
And what about the evidence that supports a young Earth?
Very sloppy FAIL! What about all the accomplished scientists that agree with Bill Nye? You're discounting all the science simply because you think one of the spokesmen is goofy? Maybe you should discount your whole religion because some of the priests are child molesters.
Our perceptions lead to thoughts. Our thoughts lead to belief. Belief leads to actions (passive or active). Actions lead to experience. Experience leads to reason. Reason leads to understanding others perceptions in open form or not in closed. In this case Bill Nye accepts creationism perception, Creationists do not accept any one but the perceptions of the one who wrote the bible. Excuse me!! the ones who translated the bible.
I don't understand what it is with atheists and their ilk, while I might feel a fleeting sadness for them, I do not feel that I have to attack their beliefs or lack thereof. I guess I figure that if they are ever receptive/interested I can tell them of my faith if they are wish, before being a waste of time. Why is it that they feel the need to attack another's faith? Who it it they are trying to convince anyway? If our faith is false it will eventually fade away. In the mean time, get a life.
yet we must be constantly vigilant to keep the religious from incorporating their beliefs into law and curriculum.
Here's why....because you can't walk around disputing science that is accepted across the globe and still be taken seriously. You can't say X is actually Yl "just because" your faith says so. 1+1 does indeed equal 2 and if you don't agree, you should be called out and your involvement in important decision making minimalized. No one is intentionally trying to put you down until you come out with ridiculous statements, like Earth is 6,000 years old and every human ever on the planet emanated from Adam and Eve. C'mon.....I refuse to believe that you actually believe that.
mack. were not talking about science, were talking about the theory of evolution. something being accepted and something being proven are two different things.many people around the globe accept that ufos are here and real. do you? i hope you get my drift. Science is not a religion. it should be held to scrutiny and proof. it should be held to its own standards. unlike religion, science cannot operate on principles of faith. yet it does, and a dogmatic approach and scorn and ridicule is thrown at people who demand proof of things like evolution. if its not there then fine, lets keep moving toward an answer. but proclaiming evolution is fact is like g bush flying onto the carrier with the "mission accomplished" banner.. we have a long way to go...
I don't believe that the earth is 6,000 years old for I do not believe that Bishop Usher was any more of an authority in his time that Bill Nye is now. I believe that science at its best is the search for fact and what useful rules evidence supports while religion is the search for truth. They are different and one is not harmed by the other. I have faith the bible leads me to the truth, though I accept that I may never truly fathom it. I hope that science will expand some of my understanding though, it will likely never reveal truth nor do I believe that any current theory will be the final word. Also for the record, I heartily agree with the separation of church and state, for i believes it protects faith much more than it harms it. That said, I still think Bill Nye is displaying more of his insecurities than his convictions, but that is his choice.
To answer your original question, Just Wondering, I believe many atheists are so aggressive with their attacks because they feel as though they are constantly under attack from the religious. While you may not confront them on their faith, bear in mind that they are vastly outnumbered by those who believe in a divine figure, and that many of those who do are quite hostile towards those who don't.
just wondering – i can not fathom why you consider religion the search for truth. religion searches for nothing. it dictates everything.
snowboarder. now you know why Jesus hated religion. it makes people like you think that god is religion.
flk – trying to symantically extract your religion from the term "religion" is just laughable.
Fade away? Your faith doesn't even exist (or, at the most, just barely so) in all of Asia. What you believe depends entirely on who you are surrounded by. Surrounded by Christians from day one, you will be Christian. Surrounded by Buddhists, you'll be Buddhist. In other words, you believe what you believe because you were told to believe it. Evolutionists are interested in actual evidence. It's not a matter of a presupposed 'belief'. If scientists come across stronger evidence that supports something other than evolution, then they will develop a different theory. Until then, all the evidence we currently have points to evolution and a universe that is older than 200 generations of mankind.
Jim, a point, though they are deluding themselves/wasting their time. I at least accept that one can not impose faith on another, you can only demonstrate it. So while I am saddened for them, they are free to believe or not as they will. While I would fight anyone that tried to interfere with what I demonstrate to my children, I conversely will not try to dictate to others. To snowborder, i could not dis agree more. Religion does tend to offer answers, but only people dictate specific and/or excessively narrow interpretations. Power seeking people have misused pretty much every tool at their disposal throughout history, religion is unfortunately no different. This is not universal, it is not even in my experience a majority, most religious in my experience are seekers rather than dictators.
You incorrectly ass-ume that those who support Bill Nye, science and evolution are atheists. Oh, contrare! There are many in the scientific community who are religious. We believe in Science and God. You want to make this into a science vs. religion thing. I could care less whether you believe in God and the state of your soul. That's your personal choice and none of my business. Bill Nye doesn't even care if you teach creationism to your children. He states, wrt teaching creationism, "that's great". He just doesn't believe that funds slated for science should be used to teach a non-scientific subject. I support this position as a God loving scientist.
This whole anti-science agenda that a small percentage of the religious subscribe to is hurting our children and our economy. It only causes our children to fall further behind the rest of the pro-science world in education and when competing for jobs in the technological marketplace. You gripe about how terrible public schools are. Well, own up to the fact that you and your kindred helped to put it there.
Religion is a belief that one accepts as TRUTH. Science (and scientific "theory") is an explanation of the natural world based on a body of FACTS that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.
God Bless Bill Nye and God Bless You!
Wow, first of all I actually believe that evolution is the best explanation of species development i have heard thus far. Second, I am probably in that 32% of the population that believes that evolution maybe correct, but believes that there is a deity that set the ground rules, even if that deity may not guide the process as much as I might think it should be, guinea worms and such. I, in fact believe that science usually leads to knowledge, which hopefully leads to truth and maybe to a clearer view of God. I like science, but I do not believe it is god, just a very useful methodology. No more, no less. It is the attack on faith, that I do not support. For the record, I have raised two biology Ph.D's and have a third biology related doctorate child in the pipeline. I will admit however that I have not overly utilized public education to get them there, but that is not because of any personal issue with their religious philosophy. As far as the influence of exposure to a persons development of faith or discipline, so what. I am not so arrogant to say that my truth is the only truth, only that it is my truth, which may or may not be a truth for others to consider.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.